One of the salient qualities of the ego is its perennial dissatisfaction. No matter what happens, it wants something else.
We can observe this in our lives. Our goals are always shifting: we want lots of money and when we get it, we want more. Or we decide what we really want is simplicity. We get the dream job and then discover a newer, better job.
This can be quite subtle and we are often loathe to admit it. We want to be spiritual and sane, not greedy and insane. But faking happiness and peace are not happiness and peace. We don’t have to do anything for joy and peace – they are the natural result of setting the ego aside.
Letting go of the ego heals our perception. We perceive things as they are. They are no longer impeded by the ego’s goals for it. Reality doesn’t need interpreting but that is all the ego knows how to do: interpret things and assign them meaning. This never works.
Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions (T-8.IX.2:1-5).
The present moment is sufficient. The ego is happy to accept that as an ideal – it will cheerfully consent to the bumper sticker – but it will fight like hell if you try to make it your lived reality.
So the question is, can we make contact with our desire that life – right now, right here – be other than it is? Can we see the action of wrong perception as it happens?
What do you wish was different about your life?
And then, seeing it, can we also realize that it is only this desire to change things that brings us to grief?
Peace is simply the relinquishment of the impulse to judge the present and find it wanting. This is the essence of the early lessons, right? We don’t know what we’re seeing and what we’re really seeing is the meaning that we’ve given things.
We can come back to the beginning, then. We can start again in this moment simply by recognizing the ego’s desire to change it all. To make it better by making it different.
And then we can practice the better way: accepting reality as it is. The Peace of God waits only on our acceptance.